Q and A for lecturer interview
1. Why do you want to work here?
µBecause I desperately need a job, stupid!'This is a tough one. What they are asking for is some thoughts on what you have seen and heardabout the way they do things that make you want to work for them. The emphasis in the questionis on the word µ
'. So, to answer this question you need to know a lot about the university andthe department. Look at the person specification for the job. If they are obviously looking for someone who is a good teacher rather than an international researcher, answer this question by prioritising teaching.
µI wanted to move to an institution like this that prioritises good teaching practiceand dedicated pastoral care of students. I believe I can offer this because of [x and y examples of experience from your previous career].
. What makes you different from the other candidates?
µUm, they all seem to be much more confident and professional than me and I amvery intimidated'This question is not requesting that you attack the character of your fellow candidates or compare yourself negatively to them. It is short-hand for µwhy should we hire you?' or µwhy areyou special?' Again think about the person specification and make sure you know what sort of academic they are looking for. Tailor your own responses to that as much as possible. Make sureyou give examples from your own history to support your assertions. So, for example, if it is anup and coming department looking for a high-flying researcher to boost their reputation,emphasise your role in this. If there is anything you do that makes you stand out, for example askill or area of experience, mention that here too.
Although I am an all-rounder and could contribute to departmental life in manyways, I know that I have the international research profile that you are looking for. [Go on togive details of books and articles written, prizes won etc.]I also think I am unique in that I have direct experience of running online courses and would behappy to take a lead on introducing that here if colleagues were interested.
. What are your plans for research?
µNot sure. I have been so caught up with trying to find work that I haven't thoughtabout it.'This question is obviously asking you to look forward to the future, so drawing up one year, fiveyear and ten year research plans is helpful before going into an interview. (If you are completinga PhD and looking for your first job this might sound a little excessive, but believe me, it will